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Common Formative Assessment

A Toolkit for Professional Learning Communities at Work™

Teams that engage in designing, using, and responding to common formative assessments are more knowledgeable about their own standards, more assessment literate, and able to develop more strategies for helping all students learn. In this conversational guide, the authors offer tools, templates, and protocols to incorporate common formative assessments into the practices of a PLC to monitor and enhance student learning.


  • Gain strategies for how to identify and unwrap power standards to use as the basis for learning targets and common formative assessments.
  • Use protocols and reproducibles to facilitate the formative assessment process.
  • Get tools to create pacing guides and to design units for conducting and responding to assessments.
  • Explore ideas on how to encourage students to become actively involved in the assessment process.

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Common Formative Assessment: A Toolkit for Professional Learning Communities at Work

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Chapter 1: Getting Started as a Collaborative Team
Chapter 2: Setting the Stage for Common Formative Assessments
Chapter 3: Power Standards—The Essential Outcomes
Chapter 4: The Unwrapping Process—Achieving Collective Clarity on Learning Targets
Chapter 5: Designing Quality Common Formative Assessments
Chapter 6: The Big Picture—Pacing Guides and Unit Design
Chapter 7: Now What? Using Data to Make a Difference
Chapter 8: Getting the Most Bang for Your Assessment Buck—Involving Students
Chapter 9: Sustaining the Work
Appendix: Tools for Teams